The meme started years before TikTok was even a thing.
We all know what a snail is, but have you heard of an immortal snail? In October 2021, TikTok users were introduced to a new meme featuring an immortal snail (aka a Snail Assassin) that finally reached its target, an immortal human. As a result of the snail touching the human, the human would meet their end and be immortal no longer. The immortal snail meme has been viewed about 136 million times on TikTok and can be found using #thesnail or #immortalsnail hashtags. Although the trend is new to TikTok, the snail meme actually started in 2014, way before TikTok was even a thing. In true snail fashion, it just took its time to make its way to the video platform.
Let’s crawl back to the snail’s origin to August 26, 2014. In probably one of the most memorable hypothetical questions to be asked on the Rooster Teeth Podcast, the hosts debated if they would take $10 million along with immortality when, in exchange, a snail would actively attempt to assassinate them. Basically, the slow-moving creature would constantly pursue the person who took the deal, and if touched by the snail, the person’s life would end. Podcast host Gavin Free laid out why the prospect was so haunting despite seeming like no big deal at first: “You could go to a different country and try to forget about it. But eventually, it would show up.” Most of the hosts agreed to the $10 million and immortality with the thought that beating the snail due to speed, or lack thereof, would work in their favor.
By October 2014, Rooster Teeth released an animated YouTube video along with audio from the podcast episode to explain the immortal snail scenario. The meme resurged on Reddit in 2016 and now, the immortal snail lives on through TikTok.
While facing inevitable doom by a snail doesn’t sound like too much fun, these TikTok videos make light of the situation.
The trend can easily be noticed by the sound choice many videos are edited with, a popular one being “Happy Xmas” by John Lennon. (It’s a very Beatles-heavy meme, as you can see other videos use a version of the band’s hit “Eleanor Rigby.”)
No matter what social media platform you first saw the immortal snail on, it’s amazing to see the power of technology bring a seven-year-old meme back to life to aid the immortal snail on its life-long mission.